Probinsyano Ako Partylist Rep. Jose “Bonito” C. Singson Jr. on Tuesday, Sept. 28 sought an additional P7 billion or more for the Department of Labor and Employment on the eve of the plenary deliberations for the agency’s 2022 budget.
Singson said the amount will “sustain and increase the capability of DOLE under Secretary Silvestre Bello III as it maintains successes in its COVID-19 response programs.”
Currently the chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Singson had previously batted for higher 2022 allocation for DOLE during the Committee on Appropriations deliberations on the national budget.
Quezon Rep. David Suarez, committee vice chairman, and several panel members strongly backed Singson’s suggestions.
Singson noted that the DOLE’s various programs were very responsive in alleviating the difficulties faced by millions of our countrymen caused by the pandemic.
“Naramdaman po ng milyun-milyong mga ka-probinsyano natin sa buong bansa ang inyong mga mabubuting programa para sa kanilang pag-tugon sa kahirapan dulot ng pandemya (The milliions of our provincial constituents in the country are feelling the effects of the programs that respond to the difficulties triggered by the pandemic),” Singson explained.
“Secretary Bello is certainly the most competent and most hardworking cabinet member in carrying out its pandemic response programs. Our workers, whether local or overseas, have found a strong ally in their fight against the impact of the pandemic,” Singson stressed.
Among the more effective DOLE programs are its implementation of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced workers (TUPAD); employment generation for both formal and informal sector; COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Programs (CAMP) andAKAP Cash Assistance; Overseas Workers Welfare Administration repatriation, among others.
TUPAD) has so far benefitted nearly two million workers with P9.52 billion spent for the program.
ON the other hand, 2,168 Filipinos were benefited from the CAMP program that was supported with a P10.895 billion budget by the Duterte administration.
OWWA was able to repatriate 679,845 OFWs as of September 7, 2021 and had successfully extended medical assistance to over 10,000 individuals.